Is Floyd Road the worst street in Charlton?

Good thing Thursday’s Location, Location, Location didn’t stray from Charlton Church Lane into Floyd Road…

Floyd Road, 24 January 2013
Floyd Road, 24 January 2013
Floyd Road, 24 January 2013
Floyd Road, 24 January 2013
floyd5

How did such a high-profile road become such a tip? It’s been that way for years.

Discuss.

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What happened to Woolwich Road’s £35,000?

Woolwich Road
It’s all go at the bottom of Victoria Way, where Greenwich Council is moving the zebra crossing in response to safety concerns. It’s not clear what’s going on at all; after the consultation which went to just a handful of households, actual news of what’s happening is thinner on the ground.

Simon commented a couple of weeks ago:

Please note everyone work now is underway – moving the zebra crossing 2 metres to the east. Well that really is going to help. Not even a raised crossing, no lights. I have asked the Council what is happening and have received no response as yet – will update if I know. Please contact Mary and the other Councillors locally if you are as disappointed as I am.

So far, there’s been no news…

Even more mysterious is the matter of a missing £35,000. As part of the Sainsbury’s/M&S development, developer LXB paid Greenwich Council £35,000 as part of what’s known as a Section 106 agreement. These are meant to offset the negative impact of a development by building or improving something positive in the area, and it was thought that this money would go into improving Woolwich Road.

But nobody’s sure where this money has gone. It’s not a process that’s well-known outside town halls, and it’s not certain whether this cash is actually ring-fenced in this way. With a council as notoriously opaque as Greenwich, the whole thing’s a mystery.

So is LXB’s cash going towards this zebra crossing shift, or is it going to something else? Or will it end up getting spent miles from Charlton? So far, nobody knows – unless you can enlighten us, dear reader.

Get to know Charlton’s people and parks

Maryon Park

A note from Carol Kenna at the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project:

After two years in the making The Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project is now
complete and can be visited online at www.charltonparks.co.uk. There you will
find stories and photographs looking at the history of the parks and their importance
to local people over the past hundred years.

You can listen to scores of interviews, with people talking about everything from wartime jazz at Maryon Park bandstand to looking after the deer and other animals in Maryon Wilson Park. There are memories of swimming at Hornfair lido to clambering around Gilbert’s Pit plus many more stories featuring Hornfair, Charlton, Maryon Wilson, and Maryon Parks, Gilberts Pit and Barrier Gardens parks, all featured on the website.

24 volunteers including adults, as well as pupils from Years 9,10 and 11 at John Roan School were trained in audio recording and interview techniques and over 60 interviews conducted. Extracts from those interviews are included on the website while full versions are available to listen to at the Greenwich Heritage Centre in the Royal Arsenal. The website, designed and edited by Stuart Evans, Rib Davis and Carol Kenna, is now also archived with the UK web archive at the British Library.

To accompany the website, a CPRP booklet has been produced including extracts from each person contributing to the project alongside wonderful photographs of the parks.

The book will be available FREE from borough libraries, Greenwich Heritage Centre
and Charlton House from late January 2013.

New contributions – if you weren’t able to take part in the project it still isn’t too late to add to the website: There is a special ‘Contributors” button to enable people to upload new stories and photographs, and we welcome suggestions for items or issues which may have been missed. We aim to update the website with many more reminiscences and pictures over the next five years.

The project has been organised by the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project Steering Group – Greenwich Mural Workshop, The Charlton Society, Friends of Charlton House, Friends of Charlton Park & Friends of Maryon & Maryon Wilson Parks.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Viscount Gough, and is partnered by Greenwich Council parks department, Firepower and Greenwich Heritage Centre.

It’s an incredible piece of work – congratulations to Carol and all involved. Don’t forget, you can download the booklet here.

Also, Tim Anderson from the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks will be talking to the Charlton Society at Charlton House tomorrow (Sat 19 Jan, 2.30pm, all welcome.) (Cancelled due to the snow)

Finally, it’s the Charlton Pub Quiz tomorrow – come along!

Greenwich Council backs Charlton Sainsbury’s/ M&S scheme


It’s been a long while coming, but councillors finally voted last night to back plans to to move Greenwich’s Sainsbury’s to Gallions Road, Charlton, in a new site along with an M&S and other shops.

Greenwich Council’s planning board voted 8-1 in favour of the application, despite concerns about traffic congestion and air pollition on Woolwich Road.

As well as the two superstores, the scheme will provide 850 jobs as well as a “high street” frontage of other stoes in front of the Rose of Denmark pub.

One councillor, Steve Offord, was heckled by members of the public for saying it was “inevitable” that the council would have to accept drivers entering the complex from Woolwich Road. Local campaigners had argued that customers should have to use Bugsbys Way, to tak traffic off the A206.

Council leader Chris Roberts suggested a compromise solution, where a fund of money from the developer should be set aside for traffic improvements after the store had opened, to calm fears of rat-running on Victoria Way and other streets. He also backed calls for a second entrance to Charlton station on Troughton Road, although this is subject to a separate process.

The only dissenting councillor was Kidbrooke with Hornfair Labour representative Hayley Fletcher, who acknowledged the scheme had great promise but was full of “missed opportunities” to promote sustainable transport on the Woolwich Road, dubbing the air quality statistics in the area “frightening”.

(Other councillors referred to the bad air quality on Woolwich Road, despite Greenwich Council’s Labour group voting to launch a campaign to build a third Blackwall Tunnel to add more traffic to the A102 – see petition against it.)

Most speakers were in favour of the development, but many were sharply critical of the lack of measures to control traffic. Developer LXB said it had offered Transport for London money to extend bus route 202 from Blackheath Standard to the store, to compensate people who would usually take the 108 service to the Greenwich store, but TfL insisted the bus network was fine as it is.

Chris Roberts suggested the council should take a tough line with TfL on the issue, adding that existing route 129 was only created thanks to a planning application put in for the Millennium Dome.

To see short summaries of what was said during the meeting, see this Storify round-up. The new store is likely to open in 2015.

Sharpen your brains – it’s the Charlton Pub Quiz on 19 January

Royal Oak

Quizmaster Paul Chapman would like a word with you…

The short version of this post is that there will be a pub quiz, held at The Royal Oak (at the bottom of Charlton Lane if you’ve never been) on Saturday 19th January. No more than 4 people per team and the cost is £2 per person. Money raised will go to a local charity. You are advised to get there by 8pm for an 8.30ish start (as space is limited).

The longer version is that the pub quiz originally started out as me wanting to put on an indie music night somewhere in Charlton. Despite many drinks in the pub with co-conspirators we were unable to will a viable SE7 venue into being so the idea mutated into a pub quiz, which relies far less on a dance floor.

Once the indie night was a pub quiz then I immediately wanted to host it at The Royal Oak. People connected to the Oak may disagree but, as a regular, I felt the Oak had been going downhill for several years, mainly since a botched expansion several years ago.

But recently – under the steady hand of new landlady June – the pub has been redecorated (or rather, has finally had the decorations started about five years ago finished) and the place is starting to feel more like its old self.

So the pub quiz is a chance to hopefully welcome some old – and new – customers who may understandably have been giving it a miss. And raise some money for charity of course (will announce who on the night as I haven’t decided yet).

Currently the 19th is a one-off event so prizes are non-existent (although June is kindly giving away some drinks prizes). However, if the night goes well and there is interest in a more regular event then it’s possible the quiz could continue, perhaps once every other month, and maybe the prizes could be improved.

But it’s really about trying to do something fun in the local community, not about flash prizes. So often Charlton can feel like somewhere people live and they go to have fun elsewhere; the pub quiz is my attempt at putting on a night where people do something fun locally.

As I mentioned above, space is limited so if you want to reserve a table for your team (4 max) then get in touch with me, either by email (paul@redhotbelgian.com) or on Twitter via @charltonpubquiz. The Twitter account will also have more details as the date draws nearer.

So that’s it really. I really hope people can get along and support the night. And if you don’t like pub quizzes you can always just come along for a drink and laugh at a man helplessly out of his depth…

Thanks for reading,

Paul, your nervous quiz master.

PS. One more thing, in a final attempt to cling to the indie night idea there will be no jukebox on the night but rather indie music before, after and during the quiz, as selected by moi (although if the tech is up to it we may be able to take requests afterwards).